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Ukrzaliznytsia mulling freight shipments to Central Asia bypassing Russia

Ukrzaliznytsia mulling freight shipments to Central Asia bypassing RussiaThe State Rail Transport Administration, or Ukrzaliznytsia, is considering the possibility of intermodal freight shipments to Central Asian countries to bypass Russia due to a ban on the use of Ukrainian state enterprise Ukrreftrans' freight railcars in Russian territory.

"Possible ways to address the situation with the ban are to transport freight to Central Asia with the use of intermodal rail and ferry services, bypassing Russian territory," Ukrzaliznytsia's press service reported.

The administration confirmed that the Russian railway authorities on September 30, 2015, decided to cease the use of Ukrreftrans' railcars in Russia.

"The ban concerns the handling of freight, shipments in the railcars owned or leased by/to Ukrreftrans, heading from all stations of the administrations to railway stations in the Russian Federation and being transported via Russia, except for empty railcars bound for Ukraine," Ukrzaliznytsia said.

As of October 1, 2015, Ukrreftrans had been operating 10,865 railcars, including 5,381 railcars run by the Ukrainian transport and logistics center.

In January-August 2015, railcar shipments for export in the direction of Russia or transit supplies via its territory operated by Ukrreftrans totaled 374,000 tonnes with 7,540 trips carried out.

The Russian Railways, or RZD, is introducing a ban as of October 30 on railcars operated by the Ukrainian state-run center of railway refrigerated transport, or Ukrreftrans (the town of Fastiv, Kyiv region), in Russia.

Prior to that, Ukrzaliznytsia decided to withdraw more than 3,500 open freight railcars owned by Russian Joint Stock Company Freight One and its Ukrainian subsidiary LLC Freight One (Kyiv) and ban their entrance to the country in connection with the Ukrainian sanctions effective from September 22 against a number of citizens and enterprises of the Russian Federation, including the Russian transport companies.

Oleksandr Zavgorodniy, the acting chairman of the board of PJSC Ukrainian Railways, which is being created on the basis of Ukrzaliznytsia, says he does not rule out that transit shipments could be handled by another company, which is not on the sanctions list.

On September 16, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko enacted a decision taken by the National Security and Defense Council on September 2 to introduce sanctions against about 400 individuals and more than 90 entities from Russia and other countries, who are involved in the annexation of Crimea and aggression in Donbas.

Ukrreftrans began its operations as part of Ukrzaliznytsia on January 1, 1997. It was founded on the basis of the association of refrigerated depots Fastiv of Pivdenno-Zakhidna Railways, Synelnykove of Prydniprovska Railways, Kakhovka of Odeska Railways and Ternopil of Lvivska Railways.

Source: UNIAN
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